The Boulder Fund

2020 Recipient

Sharif El-Mekki
CEO & Founder
The Center for Black Educator Development
Issue Areas:
Teacher Pipeline, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Youth Development, College Readiness
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Launched in June 2019 by 26-year veteran educator, Sharif El-Mekki, the Center for Black Educator Development (CBED) will Implement the pioneering Freedom Schools Literacy Academy (FSLA) initiative which develops early career Black educators, beginning with their high school years, via year-round teacher apprenticeships. These aides in grade 1-3 classrooms will be mentored by both college-aged and certified teachers following the Freedom Schools model and the New Teacher Center's (NTC's) research protocols and receive targeted support from Instructional coaches and engage in a robust professional development series. Moreover, high schoolers will be eligible for dual enrollment--earning up to 18 education-specific college course credits and saving money while gaining incredible experience.


Sharif is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Black Educator Development, former Principal and Teacher. Founder of The Fellowship: Black Male Educators for Social Justice a founding Member, Mayor’s Commission on African American Males. He is also a former U.S. Department of Education Principal Ambassador Fellow, U.S. Delegate to the International Summit on Teaching and Learning, and the Conference on Integrating Refugees and Immigrants into Schools. He is the founder and lead contributor to the Seventh Ward blog.